Better Than Turkey: Eating Bread At The King’s Table

Thanksgiving DinnerWith Thanksgiving dinner just a day away in the USA, many families are getting ready to gather together and eat like kings.

Mouths are already salivating over the thought of succulent roast turkey, flavorful cranberry sauce, buttery biscuits, sugary-sweet potatoes, creamy mashed potatoes, yummy smashed peas and carrots, not to mention delicious apple or pumpkin pie with cold, refreshing vanilla ice cream for dessert! (a foodie’s paradise 🙂 )

As an appetizer, thought I’d serve some scriptural food-for-thought in this post. The topic may not seem related at first, but it is. Read on… and dig in!

FOOD FIT FOR A KING

This morning I put on my audio bible and started listening to 2 Samuel, which looks at the reign of King David from Jerusalem. He had been ruling the tribe of Judah for seven and a half years when he came into power over all of Israel, a reign that lasted another thirty-three years (2 Samuel 5:5).

Saul preceded David as king and his oldest son was Jonathan. Even though Jonathan was heir to the throne and not his brother-in-law David, he knew that David was destined by God to be the next king. Furthermore he loved David so much that he loved him “as his own soul”. He didn’t differentiate between David’s life and his own: David’s gain was his gain, his loss Jonathan’s loss.

Jonathan had David’s back, warning him about his father’s plans to kill him on several occasions. David eventually became a fugitive from the angry king. Saul couldn’t fathom why his son cared so little about eliminating David who was a significant threat to his throne and inheritance. Yet David was not seeking to kill Saul or steal the throne, but to do righteousness and to follow after his God.

Jonathan had children who would likely be heirs to the throne when he died. Knowing that the Lord would eventually establish David and destroy his enemies, and thinking of the welfare of future generations, he asked David to swear that he would always show kindness to his household (1 Samuel 20:14-15).

ABOVE AND BEYOND KINDNESS: HONORING THE MEEK

After Jonathan died with his father Saul in battle and David came into power as king, he went above and beyond showing kindness to his brother’s surviving children: David showed special honor to Jonathan’s lame son Mephibosheth by arranging for him to eat bread at the king’s table in Jerusalem continually.

Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king’s sons.
2 Samuel 9:11

This honor befell Mephibosheth under the old Mosaic covenant. It was a shadow of better things to come under the new spiritual covenant: eternal, everlasting blessings and honor, not just for one household but for all the families of man, and by an even greater King than David. Let’s take a look at the parallels in the New Testament, and the beautiful promises offered to us.

Jesus Christ, the son of David, has called those who recognize their own “poverty” (being spiritually blind, lame and weak, broken with the weight of sin and death) to heal us and make us whole, and to feed us the bread of life continually at the table of the King in the new Jerusalem.

During His ministry, Jesus went to eat bread at the house of a Pharisaic ruler on the Sabbath and healed a sick man that had edema (Luke 14). He taught the guests not to seek out seats of honor when they attend a wedding feast, but rather to let the host honor them by giving them a better seat than the one they chose for themselves. This was a way to teach them the principle that God exalts the humble, but humbles the proud.

Jesus taught the host that when holding a banquet, he should not seek to invite those that could repay him (such as family, friends, relatives or rich neighbors) but rather to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. The blessing will be returned, not by them of little means in this life, but by the most high and living God Almighty of endlessly abundant means at the resurrection of the just (good to keep this in mind when we’re wondering what do with a spare seat at our table tomorrow, or turkey leftovers next week).

Bread

And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.

Jesus then replied with another parable, telling the story of a man that made a great supper, but all the guests he invited declined. They all gave poor excuses such as having property to inspect or even having a spouse!

So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
Luke 14:12-24

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As David eventually came into power over all the kingdom of Jerusalem, so the son of David shall come into His full power and authority in the kingdom of God, being also the Son of God, fulfilling the word of God.

Even now He is exalted above us, having ascended into heaven and being seated at the right hand of the Father. When Jesus returns to sit on the throne of David, He will be coming in glory and in judgment.

But He first came to bring mercy and grace, because mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13). Jesus, the eternal Word of God (John 1:1), put aside His glory with the Father from eternity past and descended from heaven to take on the flesh of man (John 17:5, 1 Timothy 3:16).

Being the only begotten Son of God, Jesus fulfilled the law and prophets and lived a sinless life. He laid down His life for us as the perfect sacrifice for our sins and took the punishment for our sin on Himself, so that all that would receive Him would also receive mercy and grace on the day of judgment, thus delivering us from the wrath to come.

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 10:8-13

God is indiscriminately calling all those with “ears to hear” to eat at His table! To feast with Him not just once a year but every day!

He is not a respecter of persons. He is not asking VIP to RSVP at his dinner party, because no one is VIP in His presence. You don’t need an overflowing bank account, celebrity status, royal bloodline, or anything else that wins accolades in the hearts and eyes of men. He is not calling the glorious, but the humble, the meek and the weak to strengthen them, heal them, and share His inheritance with them and adopt them as spiritual sons and daughters into the royal family of the King of kings, Lord of lords, God of gods and King of gods.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Revelation 3:21-22

Will you receive and accept His invitation today? Will I see you, and sit with you, as one of the sons and daughters of the King, eating bread at the King’s table?

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